Can We Stop Butchering the National Anthem?

Let's ditch the 'insufferable freestyle flourishes': Raymond Cummings
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 24, 2011 1:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Why must every sports game begin with vocalists wailing their way through the national anthem? It’s a powerful song, but “there’s no reason” it needs to “last five endless minutes and arrive full of insufferable freestyle flourishes,” writes Raymond Cummings at SpliceToday. Trouble is, no one’s going to tell that to “Faith Hill, Jordin Sparks, or some 15-year-old wunderkind who’s the pride of her church choir.”

So Cummings is taking a stand: Let’s trade the solo singers for marching bands and orchestras. “Massive, amplified horns and drums—when played by people who know what they’re doing—can imbue pretty much anything with majesty and weight,” he notes. What’s more, a soloist getting lost is “a tragedy,” while a band member “Losing the rhythm or flubbing a chord” is just “swagger, creative license,” Cummings writes. On the other hand, last night’s World Series performance by Zooey Deschanel (video in the gallery at left) might serve as a counterargument.

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